We all watched in awe as a 74-year-old Florida man wrestled an alligator with his bare hands to save his puppy. And he did this all with a lit cigar in his mouth. In an interview with Fox News, Richard Wilbanks recounted his heroic rescue.
“We were just out for a Sunday morning stroll and walking by the edge of the pond,” Wilbanks said. “All of a sudden, an alligator came out from under the water and grabbed hold of Gunner and was heading back in the water and swimming off with him.”
“I just jumped in and got hold of the alligator and drug him up, drug him up to the bank, and pried his jaws open and got him out,” Wilbanks explained.
“After I got Gunner out of his mouth, then I had my hands stuck in there. So I had to work them out”, he said. “Just my luck, Gunner only had the one puncture wound.”
When he got home, his hands were covered in blood. He told his wife what happened, and they rushed Gunner to the vet.
“It gives us a new appreciation,” Wilbanks’ wife Louise said of the alligator. “We do need to be aware they are wild animals. They’re not here for our benefit. We’re very lucky to share this space with them.”
Link to interview of the man who saved his puppy:
Watch the 4-minute Fox News interview here. You can see the mutual love between dog and owner.
“I would like to emphasize for people that have pets to make sure that they keep them away from the edge of the water,” Wilbanks warned.
Good advice. At least for dog owners who have alligators for neighbors.
After two days at the vet, and a tetanus shot for Wilbanks, all are in good health.
Please share this story with your pet owner friends! Especially if they live in Florida.